Summary: This sermon explains God’s perfecting process for all Christians.

God’s Perfect Work

James 1:1-4

John T. Edmerson, Minister

Church of Christ Kennedy Heights

I. Introduction

A. “Work” has different meanings to different people. To some

“work” is seen as a highly esteemed virtue or an admirable

trait. To others “work” represents something foreign an

undesired. Have you ever met anyone who did not want to


B. In our text this morning, James shares God’s process of

“working” as well as the “perfect work” that God’s process


C. Go to the text, read verses 1-4.

II. Lesson Points

A. The witness of God’s work. (verse 1)

1. If we notice the word scattered in verse one we see that

James was writing this epistle to Christians who had

spread throughout the world. At this time there were

Jewish settlements all over the world in various

countries. A community of Jews would acquire land,

build synagogues, worship regularly, convert others to

the Jewish faith (proselytes) and keep ties with traditional Jerusalem Judaism by sending in yearly taxes.

2. James point is this..when he sought to share his epistle,

he intended it to speak to Christians who were living in

environments where their faith was on display-thereby

encouraging or discouraging the potential faith of their


3. The application speaks to our ability to witness to others

through the experiences of life. James shows us that

though our intermingling with different cultures

and communities, we must develop a faith that speaks

well of the God we serve. See Matthew 5:14-16.

B. The way God works. (verse 2-3)

1. One of the first things we see about God in the Bible is

his work ethic. Reflect on Genesis 1-2 where God

created the world as we know it in six days, then ceased

or rested from on the seventh. In James one we also see

God at work, but His method here is different.

2. James begins speaking to our attitudes. “Count it all joy”

is in reference to our attitude. Attitudes are always

based on our response to a given situation. James is

sharing with us that when we are thrust in the middle of a dilemma he wants us to be ever mindful of how we

respond. How we respond makes all the difference.

3. See the story of “The oyster” that is found in the

bulletin. The point of the story is to illustrate our

response to what happens to us in life. James says that

we must have a joyful disposition!

4. Secondly, James informs us that we must “know” that

when we experience various (different kinds) trials they

must be viewed as God’s process of working to bring

about “endurance or patience” in our lives. Both words

communicate the idea of staying under a heavy load with

the intent of growing stronger because of the

experience. Ignorance is costly.

5. James point is that don’t think that what we

unexpectedly encounter in life is meant to destroy or

demean us. No, James says that they are meant to do

just the opposite - build us up and strengthen us. This is

God’s way of working in us to bring about perfection or

completeness. You see God has so arranged the process

that the only way that we can be all we can be is to fully

accept His way of perfecting us. In other words, the only

way out of a trial is through it.

C. The wonder of God’s work. (verse 4)

1. James closes our thought this morning sharing a deep

profoundness in our partnership with God in bringing

about a sense of wholeness or spiritual totality. The

word he uses translated as “complete” is taken from our

English word holograph; a 360 degree-complete circle. It

is wholeness or full development that is a bi-product of

God’s system of working.

2. James uses two words that express the wonder evident

in the product of God’s work. Patience or endurance

must be allowed to have its way in our lives. Don’t fight

it! Accept God’ way of working to grow us up. James

illustrates the process by using the adjective “perfect”

that describes the “kind of work process.” Then he turns

around and shares that perfect work will bring about a

“perfect you and me.” “Perfect” there-being a noun.

III. Summation and Invitation

A. James thought this morning is that we have a divine partner to

bring about a greater “us.” The process is perfect. The idea is

also that of being unblemished or untainted. In the Bible when

they offered sacrifices to God the offerings (animals) needed to

be untainted or unblemished. The thought is that God’s process

is just that untainted/unblemished. It can not be improved-

leave it alone, stop trying to modify what God has already


B. Thomasville furniture story-shows good workmanship!

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